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My take on my first trip to Spurs
at 09:42 7 Aug 2022

For what it is worth, here is my take on the game yesterday and my first experience of a trip to the Tottenham stadium. I have not seen the highlights and often you see things on TV that you don't see from a stand where you struggle to see the far end of the pitch.

Nick called this game a free hit - a scenario I hate because no matter who you are no game should be a free hit otherwise you may as well not bother turning up - well at the end of the game that is how I largely felt - why did I bother because from a Saints perspective I saw nothing new and the same frustrations as the final third of the last season.

For 15 minutes we were looked reasonably good (though warning signs had been there) and there were patches of our play which were not bad - but reasonably good for 15 minutes and an odd patch of good play is never going to cut it at PL level - arguably not at any level.

The JWP goal was well taken and in truth before Spurs equalised we should have been 2-0 up. Therein lies the start of the decline in the game. From what should have been 2-0 to us within seconds Spurs had equalised and not that long after they had taken the lead and could/should have been 3-1 to Spurs by half time.

The 2nd half apart from a few patches we were never really in it and it was not long before Spurs got their 3rd and which was then followed by 4th shortly after. It could have been 5 or 6 in a spell but they seemed to accept the 4-1.

Spurs were everything we were not. They were patient - knowing we would lose the ball and give it away and once they had the ball, they were fast, effective and clinical moving from the back to the front with speed and efficiency with pin point passing and accurate delivery. When they did not have the ball they all moved into position filling their midfield and defence working for each other. Yes, they have quality and quality in depth, yes they have spent more money than us but they were not perfect and a good opposition could have exposed their moments especially in the first half of the first half when we should have extended our lead but better teams would have done.

What of us? This is where I am exhausted because I fear I am just saying the same as last year because fundamentally nothing appears to have changed:-

- we can't defend;
- we are absolutely toothless up front;
- our full back position with Djenepo was hopelessly exposed - Djenepo worked hard and no one could fault his effort but I really have no idea where his strength lies as it sure as hell is not at that position;
- we again lose a game from a winning position (though none of us expected us to keep a lead against Spurs);
- 4th season under Ralph where we have failed to win a first game;
- when we lose, we don't just lose we lose badly and it becomes an abacus of how many goals we will concede in how many minutes;
- we had plenty of midfield players but yesterday in the 2nd half they offered no protection to our defence. At times Spurs cut through it like a knife through melting butter in the heat;
- some sound performances - Bazuna generally ok, Lavia put in a good shift and Aribo had some moments though he did seem to disappear as the game wore on. Diallo when he came on - in a game which was already lost did not offer much - he needs to step up when he gets the chance;
- a player who has not scored for 3 years gets a goal against us - how many times does that happen?;

I suppose it was not that we lost (as I had predicted a 5-1 defeat) and everyone around seemed to predict a defeat - that in itself is a sad reflection because that shows the lack of belief and confidence in the squad, management, team - it is the fact that nothing has really changed - the style of play, the frailties at the back, the toothlessness up front, lack of physical metal and lack of mental attitude and strength - when we go behind you just know we probably aren't going to change the outcome - we rarely do, the 5 subs showed yesterday that it will not change anything for us or teams like us - the good teams can replace quality with quality teams like us have just more of the same.

I know all the arguments will be that this was only the first game - it does not mean much, that it was Spurs, that we often start slowly and that it does not define our season - I get that and hopefully when we play teams with less quality than Spurs we can be better than them but we have to have someone that can punish teams when the chance arises and at the moment we don't. If we think the likes of Fulham, Bournemouth, Brentford etc are our way out of a relegation fight we can forget it. They aren't going to lay down for us.

It is odd saying it this early, but really Leeds next week is kind of key. A strong performance in all areas of the team are a must irrespective of the result.

Of the Tottenham stadium - yes impressive from the outside but from where I was sitting/standing the view was not that great and I was surprised how exposed you are to the elements. Yesterday it was a burning sun but I would imagine unless you are at the back you probably do not stay dry either in a downpour. The concourse was surprisingly tight. Entry seemed relatively well managed if not a little over the top.

Ben Mee
at 17:04 22 Jul 2022

I see he has gone to Brentford.

For me (no pun intended) this would have been an ideal signing for us to offer experience and as a mentor to our new recruits at the back. Whether he would have come to us is a moot point, but as far as I can tell we showed no interest in him, yet knowing that position along with our attack is in need of experience and know how (I may wrong, but I think even Nick would agree with me on this). An opportunity missed along with Chris Richards.

What is our club not seeing that we are all seeing because I am not getting it? Lawrie McMenemy was a master at bringing in experienced players towards the end of their careers to mix with the younger ones.
2 friendlies and it is.....
at 23:10 18 Jul 2022

as clear as night follows day that we lack any striking power. Then Ralph states the bleedin' obvious that we have all been watching, seeing and saying for an absolute age "we are missing something in the final third" - yes Ralph - a quality striker! Sort it out before it is too late.
Ken Armstrong
at 10:53 16 Jul 2022

I may have been asleep but certainly I have not seen it until today (and apologies if I have missed a thread elsewhere) and only just read that Ken Armstrong passed away on 10 July.

I recall him quite well and was part of the 1983/84 squad that finished 2nd in the league and got to a semi final. If my recollection is correct he was a decent enough centre back. Nothing pretty or dynamic but he did a competent and good job and helped make us solid at the back when he was called upon.
England game against Norway
at 22:36 11 Jul 2022

I know there was a debate last week about the England women's football team and I have to admit that I usually struggle to stick with it, but this evening I did and although you could quite legitimately question the quality and Norway were clueless this evening, what I did admire was the tenacity, the constant hunting down for the ball and winning it back when they lost the ball and at times there was some good interplay and passing.

As I said Norway offered no real opposition and were there for the taking but you can only beat what is in front of you.
Carlo Ancelotti
at 22:46 28 May 2022

Ancelotti has a tremendous record of winning trophies and yet he has never really got that recognition in this country or in our media even when he was manager of Chelsea.

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